First-half goals from Lucas Biglia and Ricardo Kishna proved enough to secure a winning start to the new Serie A campaign for Lazio as they downed Bologna 2-1 at the Stadio Olimpico.
Matteo Mancosu replied for the newly promoted visitors just before the break, but despite mounting some concerted pressure as full-time approached, Delio Rossi’s men were unable to snatch a point.
Some of the gloss was taken off Lazio’s victory, however, by a calf injury that forced skipper Biglia to be stretchered off just seven minutes into the second half.
There was better news concerning Kishna who enjoyed a Serie A debut to remember, doubling the hosts’ advantage after Biglia had given them the lead by firing home from the edge of the box on 17 minutes.
Sloppy defending from the visitors allowed Antonio Candreva to pick out Kishna at the back post and the former Ajax man rifled home from close range.
Despite having been on the back foot for virtually the entire opening period, however, Bologna clawed their way back into the game two minutes before the break when Mancosu latched on to a through ball, held off the challenge of Stefan Radu and thumped a ferocious shot into the net via the underside of the bar.
Keita Balde Diao, Candreva and Kishna all then squandered opportunities to make the game safe for Lazio in the second-half and they were almost made to pay for their profligacy in the very last minute when Matteo Brighi’s header was kept out in spectacular style by goalkeeper Etrit Berisha.
The hosts duly saw out the final moments to claim the three points and secure a handy confidence boost ahead of their upcoming Champions League play-off second-leg clash with Bayer Leverkusen.
Bologna, meanwhile, will host Sassuolo on Sunday.